Category Archives: Labor & Employment

Ag Workforce Study

SB 5285 requires the workforce training and education coordinating board to conduct a workforce assessment for the agriculture, natural resources, outdoor recreation, and environment sectors to assess the available data on current and projected employment levels and hiring demand for skilled mid-level workers in those sectors. The bill passed both chambers and was signed into law on May 4.

Pay Equity

Below are summaries and status reports (as of Feb. 21, 2017) of the equal pay bills that we have been closely following.

HB 1506 – Addressing Workplace Practices to Achieve Gender Pay Equity: This bill revises the state’s equal pay laws but adds additional penalties above wage recovery and multiple causes of action – both of which we are concerned about. The bill passed the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee and has received a hearing in House Appropriations. It has not been schedule for executive action.

SB 5836 – Enhancing Enforcement of the Equal Pay Act: The issue of gender pay equity is one that will continue to be negotiated throughout the remainder of the session. This bill is a title-only bill that passed out of the Senate Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee. The committee heard testimony on other bills but decided to pass this bill as a vehicle for possible compromise language.

Paid Family Leave

Below are summaries and status reports (as of Feb. 21, 2017) of the paid family leave bills that we have been closely following.

HB 1116 – Family and Medical Leave Insurance: The state passed a paid family leave insurance program in 2007 but never funded the program. This bill would increase the benefits offered under the program and provide funding. It would create a 26-week benefit for care of others and an additional 12 weeks for an employee’s own medical conditions. The insurance would provide up to 90 percent of the state’s average weekly wage, and costs would be split between employers and employees. The bill passed the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee and is scheduled for executive action in the House Appropriations Committee.

SB 5829 – Addressing Paid Family Leave: Because paid family leave is considered to be necessary to implement the budget, discussions on the topic could continue for the duration of session. This bill is a title-only bill that can be used as a vehicle to put possible compromise language onto. The bill passed the Senate Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee. The bill was referred to Senate Ways & Means.